National paella day
March 27th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Invite the whole family and then some for a pile-on paella party - March 27 is National Paella Day.

Not only is this dish rich in a multitude of flavorful ingredients, but paella is just bursting with a storied heritage as well. None of the three varieties are the same, so you'll have plenty to keep you occupied today.

Originally created in Valencia on the east coast of Spain, it has been called Spain's national dish by non-residents, but proud Valencians refer to it as one of their main symbols. Varieties include Valenciana (no surprise there), de marisco (seafood), mixta (a mixture of meat and seafood) and vegetariana (vegetable).

Valencian paella typically combines short-grain white rice, chicken, rabbit, snails, butter beans, great northern beans, artichokes, tomatoes, rosemary, sweet paprika, saffron and garlic. Seafood, as you can guess, substitutes fresh fruits of the sea for the meat and beans. And somewhere down the line, people living outside of Valencia mixed the two recipes together, creating mixed paella.

Making paella involves toasting a layer of rice at the bottom of the giant paella pan over an open flame or burner. The name of the crisp rice that sticks to the bottom of the pan is socorrat.

Try paella with poblanos for a spicy dinner. One thing is for sure - with paella, you won't need side dishes for the one-pan meal that makes enough to feed an army.



soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Hi from Valencia, Spain!
    I think that the National Paella Day, it's gonna be a National Rice With Things Day or National Paella Fail. When you say the word "Paella" you are talking directy about Paella Valenciana, because "Paella" is the word in Valencian (a local language) for the Paella pan and also for the Paella recept. If you call Paella to a Seafood Paella, you are not talking as you should. And it not means that the seafood paella tastes bad. It is just that you are not talking good and you are not naming the thing as you should

    March 27, 2014 at 7:19 am | Reply
  2. cookforloveandfire:: Jocelynn Neri

    I love Paella! I snatched up a great pan a few years ago, but i have the hardest time finding Calasparra rice.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  3. Buckeye in Spain

    My mother-in-law makes it primarily with seafood. Calamari, shrimp, mussels, clams... To be honest my favorite part is the red peppers, that give it just a bit of sweet.... Sooooo good! She only breaks it out on special occasions because it's time consuming, but it's sooooooo good!

    March 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  4. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Saffron is SOOOOOO healthy for you!!! Eat this up like crazy! Or invest in some saffron tea! :)

    March 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  5. Multi-Tasking @ Work

    Love Paella! minus snails & rabbit, eewww. chicken, sausage & lots of seafood

    March 27, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  6. Arturo Féliz-Camilo

    Ok. where do I sign? LOL! Dominican cuisine has a large Spanish influence (as most hispanic cuisines) We have lots of rice recipes similar to paella! yummy!

    March 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
  7. AleeD®

    Mmmm, paella, seafood paella, especially from the Columbia restaurant in Ybor City, FL. Mmmm.

    March 27, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • dnfromge

      When my family is down in Florida visiting with my father-in-law, this is one of my favorite dishes to make – the seafood selection is so much better down there! Haven't tried that restaurant, but I have friends in Seminole, FL – we may have to meet up and try it out!!

      March 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
      • AleeD®

        I hope you can. It's a great place to go. Check out their site.

        http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/

        There are several branches of that restaurant, but only the original in Ybor City has the flamenco dancer stage show. I highly recommend making reservations for that and dinner. Ask for seating close to the stage – you won't regret it. Have fun!

        March 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
        • dnfromge

          Thanks!

          March 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

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